Just in case you’re not quite totally sick of me yet, my latest feature for Palate Press was recently published, with the focus (words and photos) on the unsung red grape variety of Piedmont: Ruchè (I traveled the area last year as a media guest).
Actually, it’s more correct to state that my article (one of two at Palate Press that highlight Ruchè) focuses on the people behind the resurgence of that once-all-but-lost grape variety.
Bricco views of Ruchè country. I get this kind of stuff all of the time. Yet another reason to hate me!
And a colorful cast of characters those people are; not surprising, I suppose, given the nature and the story of the variety itself. The Palate Press feature profiles the main vintners behind four of the driving Ruchè forces in the region: Crivelli, Ferraris, Pierfrancesco Gatto, and Garrone.
During dinner, our traveling group had a bit of an impromptu video recording session with one of the leaders of the FurmintUSA project, Laszlo Balint. Not only is Laszlo a winemaker, wine writer, and wine critic, he’s also a passionate consumer/collector of Hungarian wine. He’s the emotional heartbeat of the FurmintUSA program, and he’s also a family man, and a good friend.
You get a chance to meet Laszlo (albeit virtually) in the latest video release from FurmintUSA (see embed below), taken from the conversation that was filmed between him and me during our stop at Barta (you also get a chance to see how many “uhms” I utter on video when jet-lagged). If more indigenous grape varieties had guys like Laszlo pushing them into wine marketing modernity, we’d be overrun with more interesting and geeky wine choices in the States…
As you’ll see from the vid published earlier this week’s, I recently had the pleasure of going back to Hungary, primarily to engage in Phase 2 of the FurmintUSA promotional program, filming a new set of videos for the Furmint Adventures series.
That’s always fun, because the wines are largely excellent, the scenery settings beautiful, the producers amicable, and the crew totally professional. And it gave me a chance to eat at pretty much every restaurant in Tokaj (again).
This time, however, I was also able to take part in a media tour, tagging along with Master Somm’s Peter Granoff and Scott Harper, Balzac Communications’ Paul Wagner, and Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant’s Debbie Zachareas. Great travel companions all, and (an added bonus) people who aren’t afraid to share their deeply-educated wine opinions (I fit right in, unsurprisingly). Photog evidence provided below after the jump.
In going back to Hungary, it was in the latter capacity that I got to get all deep-thoughts-by-Jack-Handy on the future of dry Furmint wines. Which began one evening when I was thinking about the Fermi Paradox (don’t worry, it’ll all make some sort of sense in a few minutes)…
In this episode, I’m joined by Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant’s Peter Granoff, who makes a comical appearance and adds a bit of spot-on, Master-Somm-infused tasting commentary on the Furmint wines of Szent Donát Winery. Another twist: this time, we’re on the shores of the gorgeous Lake Balaton in Csopak; so we’re delving into the burgeoning world of Furmint beyond the hamlet of Tokaj.
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